By Annette Christie
To start the Watervliet City Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 12, Mayor Dave Brinker asked for a moment of silence for those that were affected by the shooting at the Berrien County Courthouse just a day before. Two Court Officers were killed in the gunfire that also injured a Berrien County Sheriff Deputy and a civilian. The shooter, an inmate at the Berrien County Jail was killed in the exchange of gunfire by other Court Officers. Berrien County Commissioner Jon Hinkelman, present at the City Commission led with that in updating them on happenings at the county. Hinkleman said that the Berrien County Board of Commissioners will certainly review any and all policies regarding the courthouse and security after the full results come out from the investigation as to what happened. With it only being the day before, Hinkelman said that the Commissioners had not even had a chance to talk about it yet. Hinkelman said he would say this about the staff, “We have a bunch of outstanding people and a lot of stuff has been taking place today to get it ready for tomorrow,” speaking of the Courthouse. The Berrien County Courthouse was closed on Tuesday. It was expected to open up to the employees on Wednesday and return to full operation on Thursday, July 14. Hinkelman added, “I am very proud of our law enforcement – every day they are a hero.” He said that among the things going on at the county level was the grant application for the Watervliet County Park. “We are very excited to see how that turns out,” Hinkelman said. Commissioners are discussing several things including St. Joe River harbor dredging, the new Indigent Defense system being handled by County Administration vs. the Courts, and a County-Wide Transportation System. Hinkelman said that the new Animal Control facility located on Euclid Avenue in Benton Charter Township is occupied and operating. An open house will be held on Friday, July 22 from 1 – 7 p.m. During public comments Bob Becker thanked those that organized the community’s 4th of July Event. He said they did a fantastic job. The Clerk reminded those in attendance that the deadline was approaching for filing documents if anyone was running for the City Commission. Clerk Tonia Betty said that the deadline was July 21 at 4:00 p.m. and that only the petition and the affidavit of identity comes to the City Clerk and the other form goes to the County Clerk Elections Administrator. Commissioner Melanie Marvin asked that the Ordinance Violations Report that the City Commission receives includes the addresses for the residents that are being cited. Marvin said she does not want to publicly humiliate someone but if the information is on a report and they are called and questioned about it, they would have a place to look to see if the complaint is being addressed. Police Chief Tim Sutherland said he would include that information on the report going forward. A discussion was held on the form being used to evaluate the City Manager’s position. Personnel Committee Chairperson Barb Schofield asked that the form be reviewed by the Committee before moving forward as the tool used for the evaluation. Once the evaluation is completed by all the Commissioners it will be reviewed by the full Commission. That is planned to occur at a special meeting on July 26 at 4:30 p.m., prior to the 6:30 Commission meeting. A discussion was held about the SAW Grant that was received by the City. The City received the Stormwater Asset and Wastewater Management Grant to assess and improve the condition of their systems. It is a 90/10 grant. City Engineer Alan Smaka with Wightman and Associates helped answer questions that the City Commission and Mayor had about the program. In other business the City Commission approved bills in the amount of $121,951.72 of which $40,315.45 was for payroll.
FIVE GENERATIONS… Marjorie Zachary of Niles was recently joined by her daughter Judy (nee Zachary) Noack of Coloma, grandson Michael Noack of Watervliet, great-granddaughter Lauren Noack, and great-great-granddaughter Adilynn Brautigam, both of Bridgman, for a five-generations photo.
City Manager position evaluation set for 4:30 p.m. public meeting, July 26
A discussion was held on the form being used to evaluate the City Manager’s position. Personnel Committee Chairperson Barb Schofield asked that the form be reviewed by the Committee before moving forward as the tool used for the evaluation. Once the evaluation is completed by all the Commissioners it will be reviewed by the full Commission. That is planned to occur at a special meeting on July 26 at 4:30 p.m., prior to the 6:30 Commission meeting. A discussion was held about the SAW Grant that was received by the City. The City received
NEWLY WEDS… Dane Burnhardt and Catherine Ella Oehling were married on June 18, 2016, in St. Joseph, Mi. The wedding reception was held in the beautiful surroundings of Sarett Nature Center. Dane’s parents are Mike and Barbara Bernhardt of Denver Co. Catherine’s parents are Karl and Hyosun Oehling of Bainbridge Twp.
the Stormwater Asset and Wastewater Management Grant to assess and improve the condition of their systems. It is a 90/10 grant. City Engineer Alan Smaka with Wightman and Associates helped answer questions that the City Commission and Mayor had about the program. In other business the City Commission approved bills in the amount of $121,951.72 of which $40,315.45 was for payroll.
Deadline for Hartford City Commission nominations is July 21 By Nancy Albright
The Hartford City Council would like to remind residents that petitions for nomination of City Commission seats are due on July 21st at 4:00 p.m. Petitions are available at Hartford City Hall, located at 19 West Main Street, Hartford MI 49057. John Miller of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and current City Commissioners Ron Burleson and Frank Dockter have already been nominated.
Hartford Public Library partners with Hoopla Digital to give patrons online and mobile access to free movies, music, and more Library card-holders can instantly explore, borrow and enjoy dynamic content on their smartphones, tablets and PCs
Hartford Public Library recently announced public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, and music albums all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital (hoopladigital.com). Hartford card holders can now download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit hoopladigital.com to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios and record companies – available to borrow 24/7, for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets and computers. “We want to be a media hub for Hartford residents, even when they can’t physically make it to the library,” said Stephanie Daniels, Director at Hartford Public Library. “Partnering with hoopla digital allows us to expand our catalog and meet the needs of our patrons. There is also no waiting period for popular and educational titles with hoopla digital, the service’s automatic return means no late fees, and our patrons will be able to access content 24/7.” For patron registration information and info contact the library at 621-3408.
Senate panel OKs Good Samaritan bill expansion
The Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved bipartisan legislation introduced by state Reps. Al Pscholka and Sam Singh to expand the current Good Samaritan law, extending select exemptions from prosecution to people of all ages for reporting overdoses involving all controlled substances. The Senate panel reported out House Bill 5649, introduced by Rep. Pscholka, R-Stevensville, and HB 5650, sponsored by Rep. Singh, D-East Lansing. The bills expand Rep. Pscholka’s Public Act 220 of 2015, which exempts individuals under age 21 from certain prescription drug-related criminal charges in the event they are reporting life-threatening overdoses. “We have already seen lives being saved from prescription drug overdose by the Good Samaritan Act passed last year. By extending this limited exemption to people of all ages and all types of drugs, we can continue to help those who are in need of lifesaving help,” Rep. Pscholka said. “With these bills, we have the chance to make sure that no one has to think twice about saving a life.” Rep. Singh, D-East Lansing, said expanding the limited protections of the Good Samaritan Act is simply responsible government. “Drug overdoses are nearing epidemic proportions in Michigan and across the nation, and it’s just common sense to remove barriers that prevent someone from making a simple phone call to save a life,” Rep. Singh said. State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he supports expanding limited immunity to people of all ages. “I agree that we should expand Public Act 220 so individuals from all walks of life never have to think twice about saving a life,” Sen. Jones said. “At the same time, we are not giving a pass to other serious crimes that might be involved with the overdoses. This is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.” PA 220 was introduced after the death of Mason Mizwicki, a Watervliet teen who passed away during a New Year’s Eve party because of a prescription drug overdose. His mother, Lori Mizwicki, said many of Mason’s friends were present at the party who could have called for help, but didn’t because they feared criminal charges. Lori Mizwicki and Mason’s aunt, Brandi Huyser, urged expansion of the original bill during committee testimony earlier this month. The bills now go to the full Senate for consideration.